As one of a growing community of Indigenous scholars you will work and study with an expanding community of leaders connected to the NAIITS learning community.
Designed specifically to train Indigenous people—and those who work within an indigenous context—the MTS/Indigenous, in partnership with Tyndale University College and Seminary, is intended to increase your effectiveness in whatever ministry context you find yourself in - whether teaching, pastoral care or community mobilization.
Indigenous academic leaders have designed and tailored this degree for Indigenous people and those serving in indigenous communities. More than 80% of professors in the program are Indigenous scholars and practitioners with doctoral degrees from a wide range of universities and seminaries. Students will learn from professors who are engaged in their own Indigenous communities and are committed followers of Jesus. The NAIITS faculty are passionate about providing graduate-level theological education for Indigenous individuals and communities.
Courses are available in flexible, accessible formats. Online-hybrid options allow students to live in home community. Intensive summer courses provide face-to-face classroom experience. Wrap-around conference courses related to the NAIITS Annual Symposium stimulate learning. Elective courses allow students to further tailor the program to their own learning and ministry environment.
Students will join with colleagues who are working in Indigenous contexts and will grow in leadership capacity as relationships are built. The program will provide one-to-one experiences and small-group mentorship.
Examines the methods, principles and practices of interpreting the biblical texts. In addition to deepening one’s understanding and use of standard tools of biblical research, the course will contrast Indigenous epistemologies used in hermeneutics with those of Western traditions.
Hebrew Scripture Foundations
A general introduction to the historical, sociological, and theological context in which the Hebrew Scriptures came into existence, this course will provide the student with an understanding of the major emphases of the texts. In addition, the student will be introduced to themes of community life and praxis in the Hebrew Scriptures that find parallels in historical Indigenous worldviews of creation and Creator. The course will use community understandings, models and paradigms as a basis for comparison.
New Testament Foundations
A general introduction to the historical, sociological, and theological context in which the New Testament Scriptures came into existence, this course will familiarize students with the content and structure, distinctive theology, and introductory matters of the New Testament. in addition, the student will be introduced to the nature of the early Christian community, its transitions and changes from a strictly Hebraic construct as found within the Jewish community, and projections made for its future development.
Theology I: Indigenous Perspectives
This course is a theological reflection focused on the concept of community. It will examine the Christian doctrines of creation, fall, and redemption, identifying God’s community-creating purpose in the world. Other issues examined include evil and the fall in their spiritual and cosmic dimensions, ecology and the cultural mandate. The course will include understandings of the nature and origins of community as portrayed within Indigenous cosmologies and spiritual perspectives.
Theology II: Theology and Ethic of the Land
The course will help students to develop an integrated understanding of God, humanity and culture focusing on current debates and their bearing on Christian mission and community. Practical issues such as the relationship between the sacred and the secular, the role of art, the place of work and leisure, and the significance of political engagement will receive particular attention in juxtaposition with Indigenous perspectives in each area. This course is normally taught by an Indigenous instructor.
Creation and Transformation (Directed Study)
The centre of Christian theology is Jesus Christ who unites Creator and creation. Therefore, this course will focus on the scriptural and ecclesiastical traditions concerning the person and work of Christ in transforming Creation. This will provide the basis for a discussion about the implication of Christology for the transformation of creation community. Thus, the course will seek to engage the ideas represented by the councils, creeds of past theologies, and then move to examine the theological praxis that resulted in a colonial and post-colonial context.
Indigenous Theologies and Methods
This course will delve into unique Indigenous theological contributions to the meaning of Christian faith and life. Utilizing a thematic approach, the intersection of one’s experience with the Creator, the nature of the spiritual, the Gospel story, redemption and redeemer will be explored in contrasting views with Western theological method.
Jesus followers must be willing to interact and engage with an inquiring mind, in a knowledgeable way and in a Christ-like manner with peoples of other faiths. This course provides an overview of the major World Religions including the place of Christianity in the religious arena. It offers a foundation for understanding the classification of religions as well as the chronological development, adaptation, geographical distribution, worldviews, and cultural impact of world faiths. A summary of major religious innovators/figures, central doctrines/teachings, sacred myths and texts – including potential emerging world religions – will lead into a discussion concerning appropriate Christian responses to the world’s religions and their adherents. Indigenous values such as respecting others and story-telling are central to the approach utilized in this course.